Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

Andrew Wyeth, Wind from the Sea, 1947, tempera on hardboard, National Gallery of Art, Gift of Charles H. Morgan, 2009.

Andrew Wyeth, Wind from the Sea, 1947, tempera on hardboard, National Gallery of Art, Gift of Charles H. Morgan, 2009.

The second of the two special exhibits that I saw Tuesday at the National Gallery of Art was the “Andrew Wyeth – Looking In, Looking Out”.  It was amazing!

You must go see it before it ends in November.  His watercolor work is unbelievable.  And the subject matter is so interesting to see.

I saw the painting, Wind from the Sea, right after it was given to the National Gallery and was so taken with it.  I could feel the air blowing through the window as I walked by and saw it.  (Here is the first post I did about it.)

This show is only going to be on display in Washington so do yourself a favor and take time to go see it.  You will be glad you did.

Andrew Wyeth, Frostbitten, 1962, watercolor on paper, Private Collection.

Andrew Wyeth, Frostbitten, 1962, watercolor on paper, Private Collection.

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Benvenuto di Giavannis

Benvenuto di Giavannis

One fascinating thing I love to see at the National Gallery of Art when I visit is the work they are doing to restore and maintain the beautiful art.  Sunday while visiting I ran across this painting group.  It was five panels framed together (you see two of them here) that was  painted by Benvenuto di Giovanni, an Italian painter (1436-1517) and is  a depiction of five scenes in Jesus’ life.  The panel on the right is called Christ Carrying the Cross, painted in 1491.  It is tempera on panel board measuring around 16″x18″.    You can see how much brighter this panel is than the one on the left.  The right panel has been removed and cleaned.  You can clearly see the difference in the cleaned panel compared to the one that still needs cleaning.  What drew me to this grouping was that one of the panels was missing and this sign was in it’s place:SAMSUNGIt says:  “Benvenuto di Giovanni’s Christ in Limbo, usually installed here, is currently in the Painting Conservation Lab for treatment.  Each of the five panels in this series will be cleaned in turn.”

How cool is that?

If you want to see “Christ in Limbo”,  the piece that is being cleaned, click here.

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David-Apollo side view

David-Apollo side view

Michelangelo's David-Apollo

Michelangelo’s David-Apollo

One of the reasons I wanted to get down to the National Gallery this past weekend was to see Michelangelo’s David-Apollo (c. 1530) that is currently on loan from Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence until March 3rd.    It is a wonderful example of Michelangelo’s work and of his habit of working  non-finito (unfinished or incomplete).  You can see in the side view the stone left uncut in the back of the sculpture.  He leaves much to the viewer’s imagination, wondering what was his intent.  You can learn much  more by clicking this NGA link.

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Monet's Cathedrals

Monet’s Cathedrals

One of the things I like best about going to the National Gallery of Art is that you can learn so very much.  For instance, in the Impressionist Gallery that has recently reopened after being remodeled, I came across two of Monet’s Cathedral paintings hanging side-by-side.  What a wonderful way to see Monet’s thought process as he explored color and light on canvas.  He painted this same scene, Rouen Cathedral, more than thirty times at different times of day and different months of the year in his quest to master color and light.  Monet used this learning  tool, series paintings, on several subjects including his Water Lilies, Haystacks, Poplars, and The Parliament and it’s always a treat to see several of them displayed together.

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Yesterday I enjoyed a wonderful visit to the National Gallery of Art with some of my students from the Southerlands.  There was 13 of us that made the trip to see the Picasso Drawings.

  No photography was allowed in that exhibit but this was the entrance poster so at least you can see what it was like.  The interesting thing was that there were probably about 50 pieces in the exhibit and probably half or more belonged to private collectors.  Really interesting.

After we finished seeing Picasso we wandered to the newly opened gallery of impressionist paintings….some of my favorites.

Paul Cezanne, French painter, 1839-1906. "The Artist's Father, Reading L'Evenement", oil, 1866.


Edouard Manet, French Painter, 1832-1883. "The Railway", oil, 1873.


Manet, "Masked Ball at the Opera", oil, 1873.


More to come tomorrow…

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Friday morning I woke up and realized I really had not made any plans for my birthday on Saturday.  So I decided to go to DC for the night.  I love Washington, especially the National Gallery of Art so I booked room at the Hyatt Regency, one of the closest hotels to the gallery.  It was storming really hard when I got there around 3 p.m. but the people couldn’t have been sunnier!  When the young man checking me in came back after copying my i.d. and credit card he said, “It’s your birthday!”  I said “Yes, tomorrow.”  The young lady working with him at the registration desk said, “OMG, mine too!”  I said we must be twins then.  She laughed (could have been because she was a tall, beautiful, slender Black girl and I’m a dumpy white middle aged chick) and told him to upgrade my room.  Then he gave me a coupon for breakfast.  She told him to also give me a $50 room credit since I was 50!  WOW!  I felt really special.

I spent a wonderful evening having dinner and then relaxing and reading about the Chester Dale exhibit that I was planning to visit at the NGA the next morning.  I wake on my birthday, have a wonderful breakfast (on the house) and start out for the National Gallery.  The capital view above is right out of the front door of the hotel.  As I walk closer I realize there is some kind of rally going on at the capital.  I walk right up to within about 30 feet of the stage and see that it is the Dalai Lama.  He was in town for a conference on world peace.  So I listen for awhile and get a few shots. 

It was really crowded.  You can see the capital lawn was full of people.

What a surprise and joy to get to hear his message about making a better world by making a better self.  Talk about being in the right place at the right time.  What a wonderful birthday message.

Come back tomorrow for Birthday Adventure Part II – National Gallery of Art.

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I love going to Washington DC.  The first time I went was as a child of about 10 years on a family vacation.  I fell in love with the history, the museums, everything about it and I think that was the start my love of history and the reason I majored in history in college. (Yes, history, not art.)

Yesterday, my cousin Linda,  who is visiting from Georgia, and I spent the day at the National Gallery.  There are so many wonderful exhibits there now that we couldn’t see it all. 

However, we did get to see the Gauguin:  Maker of Myths exhibit.  It was the last day and terribly crowded but worth it.  You can see more here.    We also saw the Small French Paintings exhibit which is a permanent exhibit that I’ve seen many times but I love it and always enjoy it so. 

This Boudin is an example of the beautiful paintings in that collection and you can read more that collection  here.

But the most amazing thing we saw was the Chester Dale collection.  What a stunning collection of art.  And what an interesting couple they were.  Well worth a trip to the NGA.  Go if you haven’t already.  The Dale’s left a generous endowment as well as a tremendous collection of work from impressionism to modern art to the NGA.  This huge collection is a must see.  Read more about it here

Any day spent viewing art with a good friend is a perfect day.  And when the art includes dogs ….

well, need I say more!

(This is ToulouseLautrec’s Fleche)





(Renoir’s dog)

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